Former Viera High teacher sentenced to probation for role in U.S. Capitol riots
Florida Today | By Eric Rogers | Updated March 31, 2022
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the circumstances surrounding Kenneth Reda’s departure from his job with Brevard Public Schools. Reda resigned from his teaching position, according to BPS spokesman Russell Bruhn
The former Viera High School teacher who was arrested last year in connection with the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced in federal court Wednesday.
Kenneth Reda, 55, of Melbourne, received 60 days of home detention and three years probation, along with 60 hours of community service and $500 in restitution, after pleading guilty in November to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped additional charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; and disorderly or disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds.
Reda entered the U.S. Capitol shortly after 3 p.m., about an hour after rioters stormed and breached the building as the U.S. Congress met to certify the election of President Joe Biden, court documents show. He spent about 10 minutes inside before exiting through the Rotunda doors.
“I was there at the steps of the Capital (sic) I got into the building,” Reda later posted to his Parler social media account, according to a statement of offense.
Reda had made previous social media posts alluding to former President Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud and attempts to steal the election, and joined calls to disrupt the certification process, documents show.
“It is time to organize PATRIOTS we need to get together to organize against this KABAL (sic) we need to overthrow it,” Reda posted to Parler in December, according to court documents.
Reda is a former physical education teacher and football coach at Viera High School. He resigned from the school district shortly after his arrest in July, according to a Brevard Public Schools spokesman.
Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 725 people from across the U.S. have been arrested in connection with the Capitol breach. About 70 of those arrested were from Florida, with seven from Brevard County.
Among them was Kenneth Harrelson, 41, of Titusville. Harrelson, a member of the far-right Oath Keepers, was indicted in January on charges of seditious conspiracy alongside 10 other members of the paramilitary group for their role in the attempted insurrection. The indictments represented the most serious charges yet leveled in the federal case against the rioters.
Dillon Homol, a Cocoa Beach resident who also faces charges in connection with the Jan. 6 incident, filed suit in federal court last month to block a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee for Homol’s cell phone records, as well as those of his mother and sister, who have not been charged.
The select committee has begun seeking phone records of some defendants in the Capitol breach case, in an attempt to determine whether any U.S. government officials had been coordinating with rioters before or during the event.